My guide to PayPal eCheques.
The latest news on eCheques as at 30th June 2008 is that eBay and PayPal are no longer going to allow sellers to block the eCheque payment method for eBay transactions but this is still an option for website transactions.
My sincerest thanks to all those that have kept me up to date with their experiences and particular thanks go to eBay user cvb_tbs
I have had reports that eBay will remove reported listings that state you are not allowed to accept eCheques so please remove any reference to this from your listings before someone reports them..
I have recently had a buyer attempt to pay by eCheque and this was still successfully blocked. I can no longer be sure that if you follow the process below that eCheque for eBay payments will be blocked but I can state that this does work for payments processed on web sites.
It is possible that sellers who have had this option checked prior to the latest PayPal software updates will continue to block eBap PayPal eCheque payments. The rest of the guide is still accurate and nothing has changed over the actual way that eCheques work and I VERY STRONGLY recommend that if you are in the position of having received an eCheque payment you contact your buyer immediately to inform them of this so they don't get upset with you for any delays in receiving their items.
On with the original guide then.
The way eCheques work.
An eCheques is a means of making payments through PayPal when PayPal has no means of accessing your funds instantly. They are most commonly used without the sender even knowing that this method has been chosen by PayPal to make a payment with, as an eCheque is automatically chosen as the payment method when there is no means of accessing a credit or debit card. This results in a 7 to 10 day clearance time for the seller and a frustrated buyer not understanding what has happened and why they have to wait for their item.
Quite often a buyer will make a payment for an item and assume that the payment has been made instantly and the seller will have the funds showing in their PayPal account and then get quite upset when the seller informs them that the item will be delayed. Because there is no access to a debit or credit card the funds have to be withdrawn from the buyers account through a direct debit instruction.
The misunderstanding is usually as a result of an expired card that just needs updating with PayPal.
For sellers that are having a problem with eCheques and frustrated customers I recommend using the Block Payment by eCheque option. This can be found by logging into your PayPal account and choosing the profile option under the "My Account" Page Tab.
If you click on the actual "profile" link you will be presented with a page of categorised links. The "Selling Preferences" category has a link to "Payment Receiving Pages" and by following this link you will be taken to a page that has a list of Payment Receiving options.
Place a tick in the
"Block the following payments:
Pay with eCheque for website and Smart Logo payments, or German bank transfer for all website payments except eBay. NOTE: You may not block eCheque payments on eBay."
Press the "Save" Button at the bottom of the screen and you are done. Well not quite. You now have to amend all your listings to state clearly that you do not accept eCheques.
The wording of the option has changed again and it is now clear that PayPal do not want you to block eCheque payments for eBay transactions. To my knowledge this block will now only work for non eBay transactions
You will receive messages from confused buyers telling you that your PayPal account doesn't work or there is a problem. You will then have to explain to your buyers that the error message they are seeing is due to PayPal Payment method used has been an eCheque and you are unable to accept these. You can then give advice on why this may have happened and offer alternative Payment methods.
Your buyer will usually then be very pleased that they had discovered an out of date card registered on their PayPal account and have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem and or find a quicker alternative funding source to eCheque's.
Based on feedback I have received from my buyers I have come to the opinion that blocking eCheques is providing a service to my customers.
If you do get an eCheque that you do not want to accept and you have specified on your listings that you do NOT accept eCheque payments then you are perfectly within your rights to cancel the payment (This has to be done by the seller as the buyer does not have the option) and arrange for an alternative payment method with your buyer.
A cancelled eCheque will return the funds to the buyers' PayPal account rather than their bank account. You should be aware that many buyers get confused over the delay between funds leaving their bank account and reaching their PayPal account. This can cause the sender to believe that the money has disappeared. You should tell them to be patient as the funds will reappear in their PayPal account at around the same time as you would have received them had you not cancelled the eCheque so please bear this in mind when communicating with your trading partner.
If you have found any of this information useful then please vote for it.
You may also be interested in my other guides
My guide to business selling on eBay
What constitutes a business and should I start one